World Cup controversy: Why are fit, young workers dying in Qatar?

Swiss labour rights supporters protest in front of FIFA's headquarters in Zurich. Their cards read 'Red card for FIFA - No World Cup without human rights.'(Arnd Wiegmann/Reuters)


Jian speaks with ESPN reporter Jeremy Schaap about the human rights abuses he documented while reporting in Qatar as it begins to prepare for the 2022 World Cup.

A recent independent report commissioned by the Qatari government estimates that some 964 migrant workers died in 2012 and 2013.

Schaap, who risked arrest to look into the working conditions of the migrants, offers a ground-level perspective on the situation. In Qatar he found a community of "desperate people coming from some of the poorest places on the planet."

Thousands could die before the first ball is kicked

Small and often stolen wages. Filthy living spaces. Gruelling hours in the heat. Passports kept and contracts ripped -- these are just some of the "horrid" conditions Schaap uncovered in Qatar. 

"I don't think that FIFA gave any consideration to the human toll that would be exacted by building this tournament in Qatar," he says, noting that given the country's small population, the sports behemoth should have asked who would be doing the work. 

The reporter says even young, strong men have died of heart attacks.

"If you just base it on the current rate of construction and work in Qatar, we're talking about thousands who will die before the first ball is kicked in 2022," he tells Jian. "We're talking about more than a worker a day dying."

Watch Schaap's documentary below. 

This interview is part of our new interview series Q Brazil: culture, politics and the World Cup.

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